CQUni Townsville student set to take on Tokyo

29 November 2021

CQUniversity student Carlie Sommers is looking forward to a return to international travel more than most' after being named a 2022 New Colombo Plan Scholar to study and intern in Japan next year.

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

The 2022 Scholars will contribute to re-engagement with the Indo-Pacific with the progressive reopening of international borders and travel.

Carlie' a Bachelor of Science student' will spend three months in Kyoto learning the Japanese language and traditions to prepare for her time in Japan before undertaking her studies at the University of Tokyo.

"I chose Japan as it is one of the leading countries in science; they offer amazing research facilities' have well-equipped science-focused universities' and host global seminars focusing on environmental issues. Although many countries were very enticing with what they could offer' Japan was the top pick when aligning my goals to the NCP objectives'" Carlie said.

"At The University of Tokyo's School of Science' I will begin a research internship at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology' where I will work under the direction of a professor to assist with research projects while building strong connections with leaders in biological science.

"Studying abroad gives me an opportunity to appreciate other cultures' overcome challenges and gain new perspectives. Having global skills will be beneficial to my future career and having connections with leaders over the globe will be an incredible resource for environmental conservation efforts."

Beginning her study journey through CQUniversity's enabling course Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS)' the Townsville student never imagined she would be awarded this prestigious scholarship.

"From my bridging course to my bachelor's degree' I have had so much support and resources available' which has boosted my confidence and helped me achieve much higher grades than I thought possible.

"I had initially planned to enter mechanical engineering and was interested in sustainable manufacturing' however' in my first term' one of the units that focused on preparation for higher studies incorporated some personality tests to look at career compatibility and my top recommendation was biological science'" Carlie said.

"I contacted my course coordinator' and we altered the bridging course for entry into a science degree' and I think it was the greatest' most spontaneous decision I have ever made.

"I am very much focused on the environment and hope to incorporate both interests by being involved in the uprise of biotechnological advances focusing on marine conservation."

She hopes to pursue further research and internship opportunities in Japan to help start her career in the biological science industry.

"My current plan is to take every opportunity as it comes and let everything fall into place in time. If you focus too much on one goal' you can miss some life-changing opportunities' so I am just keeping an open mind and seeing where my studies take me.

"I am interested in continuing my studies and hope to dive straight into a Master of Research once I complete my Bachelor of Science. My long-term goal is to complete these studies in Japan at one of their prestigious post-graduate institutions' which I will try and line up during my travels."

The New Colombo Plan is funded by the Australian Government. For more information about NCP opportunities at CQUniversity contact the CQUGlobal Office via cquglobal-out@cqu.edu.au or visit the CQUGlobal Terra Dotta portal.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake semester-based study and internships or mentorships for up to 19 months in 40 participating Indo-Pacific locations. Each Australian university can nominate up to 10 students per year.